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“A little girl ?" queried the cross-eyed man. “N), a boy,” returned the woman.
“Of course-a boy,” repeated the cross-eyed man; young boy,—not very old ?"
"About that age," said the woman; "what about him ?"
"Madam, do not get excited,” pursued the cross-eyed man; s be brave and calm.”
“Mercy on me!" exclaimed the woman, ini surprise ; "what's the matter ?"
“Gently, gently,” said the cross-eyed man, in a soothing manner; “ restrain yourself. Did not that little boy go out to play this morning?"
“Yes, yes,” said the woman, excitedly;:“what-why-is there anything the matter ?”
“Is there not a railroad track crosses the next street queried the cross-eyed man, in a solemn voice.
“Yes, oh yes,” ejaculated the woman, in great fear; “ob, tell me what has happened! what—"
“Be calm,” interrupted the cross-eyed man, soothingly; “be brave-keep cool-for your child's sake.”
“Oh, what is it, what is it ?" wailed the woman, wildly; “I knew it-I feared it. Tell me the worst, quick! Is my child-where is my darling boy ?"
“Madam,” replied the cross-eyed man, gently, “ I but this moment saw a little boy playing upon the railroad track; as I looked upon him he seemed to be—"
"Oh, dear! oh, dear!” screamed the woman, wringing her hands; "tell me the worst. Is he—”
'He seemed to be daubing himself with oil," continued the cross-eyed man, quickly drawing a bottle from his pocket,“ and I've got here the best thing in the worldLightning Grease Eradicator-only twenty-five cents a bottle, warranted—”
There was a broom standing behind the door, and with one blow she knocked his tall hat over his eyes, and with another waved him off the steps and through the gate. And as the cross-eyed man moved swiftly up the street she shook the broom at him, lonking for all the world like an ancient god of mythology with a passion-distorted face and highly excited red arms.
THE FLIGHT OF THE GODS.-ADELAIDE BIDDLES.
'Tis said that when the gods flew from the eartn, Love stayed behind, self ailed for man's sake.”
- From the German. Upon their tree-crowned hill the gods reclined,
And gazed in sadness on the sunlit earth;
For Abel slumbered on the blood-staineč turf;
We soon shall from our simple shrines be driven; Why should we stay to perish mid the storm
When we can soar to happiness in heaven?" Then from her torch Religion quenched the flame,
And said, as o'er her cross she weeping stood, “They will rear shrines and temples in my name,
Then consecrate them with a nation's blood;
The widow's agony, the orphan's tear,
Oh, let me leave them for my azure sphere."
And said, “Thou ne'er again wilt freshly bloom, Scorched by the flame of kingly cities razed,
Shrouded from light by the dark cypress gloom. For war, with trumpet's sound and cannon's roar,
Will stalk the earth to plunder and enslave, And his proud banner stained with human gore,
Will float in triumph o'er my trampled grave.” Then said Humility with dovelike tones,
“Let me, too, wander from this new-born world, I shall be scoffed at near its dazzling thrones,
And from its palaces be rudely hurled;
Their sculptured columns to the starry skies,
And crush beneath its feet affection's ties." Then Love arose, with soft, imploring look,
And said, “Oh, let us not leave man alone, By Peace, Humility, and Hope forsook,
To brood in silence o'er the cold gravestone;
The blood-stained scaffold and the blazing stake;
But here remain self-exiled for man's sake.”
With gentle tones they prayed him not remain,
* Oh, float with us into yon cloud-built land,
And list the music of our seraph strain,
Where hearts will wither up like autumn leaves, Let's roam where heaven's bowers unfading bloom,
And crown our brows with amaranthine wreaths." He softly said, “From hence I will not haste,
But stay to lull the pain of sin's fierce dart, Yo guide the pilgrim o'er life's dreary waste,
And rear my temple in each human heart. Should you e'er seck me in this lowly life,
And quit your starry homes amid the air, You'll find me where is breathed the name of wife,
Or childhood's little hands are clasped in prayer." “Oh, grieve not that I leave my star's bright ray,
To snatch the erring from an endless doom; If e'er my power should seem to fade away,
'Twill rise again from the Redeemer's tomb; And when an earth-tried mortal is at rest,
And silent sleeps beneath the daisied sod, The wearied soul shall slumber on my breast,
And float upon the clouds to heaven and God."
THE AGED PRISONER.
“Nigh on to twenty years
Dear God! for twenty years.
“With every gray-white rock
Old granite walls resent.
"My little blue-eyed babe,
And on her heart lie soft.
“Oh, this bitter food That I must live on! this poisoned thought
That judges all my kind, because by men
For one brief moment's madness.
"If they had killed me then,
“ Plucked at my hair-
Pass funerals of dead hopes.
“To-morrow I go out!
I have no home-no hope!”
An old man, bent and gray, Paused at the threshold of a cottage door. A child gazed up at him with startled eyes. He stretched his wasted hands—then drew them back With bitter groan: So like my little one
Twenty years ago !"
A comely, tender face
But he, with one wild cry,
Fell prostrate at her feet.
For twenty loathsome years !"
Her words came falteringly: "Are you the man-who broke my mother's heart? No! no! O father,--speak! Look up-forget !" Then came a stony calm. Some hearts are broken with joy-some break with grief
The old gray man was dead.
LITTLE ALLIE.-FANNY FERN.
The day was gloomy and chill. At the freshly-opened grave stood a little, delicate girl of five years, the only mourner for the silent heart beneath. Friendless, hopeless, homeless, she had wept till she had no more tears to shed, and now she stood, with her scanty clothing fluttering in the chill wind, pressing her little hands tightly over her heart, as if to still its beating.
“It's no use fretting,” said the rough man, as he stamped the last shovelful of earth over all the child had left to love.
Fretting won't bring dead folks to life. Pity you hadn't. got no ship's cousins somewheres to take you. It's a tough world, this 'ere, I tell ye. I don't see how ye're going to weather it. Guess I'll take ye round to Miss Fetherbee's; she's got a power of children, and wants a hand to help her; so come along. If you cry enough to float the ark, it won't do you no good.”
Allie obeyed him mechanically, turning her head every few minutes to take another look where her mother lay buried.
The morning sun shone in upon an underground kitchen in the crowded city. Mrs. Fetherbee, attired in a gaycolored calico dress, with any quantity of tinsel jewelry, sat sewing some showy cotton lace on a cheap pocket-handkerchief. A boy of five years was disputing with a little girl of three about an apple; from big words they had come to hard blows, and peace was finally declared at the price of an orange apiece and a stick of candy-each combatant "putting in” for the biggest. Poor Allie, with pale cheeks and swollen eyelids, was staggering up and down the floor under the weight of a mammoth baby, who was amusing himself by pulling out at intervals little handfuls of her hair.
Quiet that child, can't ye?” said Mrs. Fetherbee, in no very gentle tone. “I don't wonder the darling is cross to see such a solemn face. You must get a little life into you somehow, or you won't earn the salt to your porridge here. There, I declare, you've half put his eyes out with those long curls, dangling round. Come here, and have 'em cut